Seeing as I've been getting quite a lot of traffic of late from people looking for a "For Dummies"* version of Perelman's Poincare Conjecture proof, this seems an especially opportune time to mention that John Tate has just been awarded this year's Abel Prize.

If you've ever read a book on modern algebraic number theory or know what an elliptic curve is, you'll already know who I'm talking about; if not, let me point you in the direction of a very good book Tate co-authored with John Silverman - "Rational Points on Elliptic Curves". Yes, it's a textbook, and a math textbook at that, but as math textbooks go they don't get much more fun and readable than this one does, and unlike Terence Tao's Poincare conjecture outline, this is a book any reasonably intelligent person should be able to work through (I know as I did precisely that at the ripe old age of 17). There are good reasons why this book has been on my side panel for several years now, I assure you.

*By which I really meant " 'Dummies' smart enough to make it through mathematics graduate school" ... Sorry about that, folks.

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